VCU's jump to the A-10 proving to be a wise move

Just a couple of quick thoughts on how VCU's move to the A-10 is paying off so far this season.

Last night A-10 conference mate Rhode Island (1-6) fell at home to former CAA conference for George Mason (5-2). Why is that good? Because the struggling Rhody Rams are at the bottom of the Atlantic 10, while George Mason sits at the top of the CAA. The Patriots snuck by URI with a 55-52 road win.

The bottom of the CAA? That space would belong to a team you may have heard of called the Old Dominion Monarchs. The 'Narchs sit at 1-5 this season, a record that includes home losses to Holy Cross, UTSA, and VMI, with their lone win coming in the form of an 11-point homer against Mercer. VCU plays at Old Dominion next Friday at 9PM.

For a conference that has been dependent on the Monarchs -- along with VCU in the past -- to be two of the teams that carry the league, that is awful news. What's worse, the preseason CAA favorite, Drexel, sits at just 2-4 on the season.

As of last night, the Atlantic 10 boasted 10 top-100 RPI teams according to That's more top 100s than any other league, BCS or not. The CAA has just two, and the closer we get to conference play, the more those numbers can sink if you're conference is stocked full of sub-100 teams.

As a conference,'s conference ratings put the A-10 at fifth, while the CAA sunk to 18th.

The main reasoning for the RPI disparity is, and will continue to be, in the teams both conferences have played and how they've faired against that competition.

So far, the CAA's best wins are Belmont (5-1), Marshall (4-3), South Dakota State (5-2) and twice over Virginia (5-2), while the Atlantic 1o boasts victories over the likes of Notre Dame (6-1), Villanova (3-3), Marquette (5-1), #14 UNC (5-2), Providence (5-2), Memphis (3-2), Texas A&M (5-1) and a couple of other underperforming BCS schools. The A-10 is also 9-1 against the Colonial so far this season, including an Xavier win over CAA preseason favorite Drexel.

A lot can change with just over a month left of OOC play, but thus far VCU's move is proving to be a wise one.

VCU will need to continue to improve as they work their way towards conference play, but a strong finish in the Atlantic 10 could prove drastically more valuable than even a dominating CAA record come selection Sunday.


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Mat Shelton-Eide
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